Spray Unit 1235 HVLP - Fine Woodworking Tool Review
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Spray Unit 1235 HVLP

Turbinaire - Spray Unit 1235 HVLP

The Turbinaire 1235 unit is a variable-speed feature that allows infinite control of atomization pressure and air volume.

$700 (As of 12/1/2003)

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Editor's Review:

by Chris A. Minick

review date: December 1, 2003

The Turbinaire 1235 HVLP (high-volume low-pressure) sprayer is about a third smaller than most home-shop turbines. But small size doesn’t necessarily equate to low performance. This well-built three-stage turbine had more than enough muscle to spray everything from water-thin stain to unthinned brushing varnish.

The manufacturer claims an air-volume output of 110 cu. ft. per minute (cfm). But atomization pressure really is what dictates spray-gun performance. I measured an atomization air pressure of slightly less than 6 psi at the turbine and almost 5 psi at the spray-gun nozzle. While 5 psi might sound wimpy, it is more than adequate to spray most properly thinned finishes.

Unique to the Turbinaire 1235 unit is a variable-speed feature that allows infinite control of the atomization pressure and air volume. I was able to dial in the ideal atomization pressure, which considerably reduced overspray.

The spray gun was comfortable to use, well balanced, and easy to disassemble. A pair of optional accessory kits is available: one that works best with finishes and stains and one that, in addition, handles thicker products like paint.

The Turbinaire unit I tested had a bleeder-type spray gun, not a favorite of mine because it blows full-pressure air from the air cap, whether you are spraying finish or not. It’s a nuisance and stirs up a lot of dust. However, Turbinaire offers a non-bleeder-type gun as an option. There’s also a bleeder-type gun with a check valve.

The internal fluid passages on the gun I tested were made from brass rather than stainless steel. Water-based finishes tend to corrode brass fittings, so the gun must be disassembled and thoroughly cleaned after spraying a water-based finish. Turbinaire’s non-bleeder-type gun, however, is all stainless steel.

The unit I tested included the turbine, the bleeder-type spray gun, 25 ft. of hose, and a viscosity cup and sells for about $700. With a non-bleeder-type gun, the price is about $825. The woodworker’s version of the accessory kit sells for about $150. Although, I think the system is pricey, it performed very well. Comfortable. well-balanced. Easy to disassemble

Editor Test Results:

Temperature N/A
Air Pressure slightly less than 6 psi at the turbine and almost 5 psi at the spray-gun nozzle
Air Output 110 cu. ft. per minute (cfm)
Transfer Efficiency N/A
Atomization N/A
Overspray N/A

Manufacturer Specifications

Manufacturer Turbinaire
Manufacturer's Web Site www.turbinaire.com
Manufacturer's Phone Number 800-866-4857
Gun Type N/A
Hose Connection N/A
Fluid nozzle orifice size N/A
Air-reducing valve N/A
Horse Power N/A
Amps N/A
Volts N/A
No. of Stages 3 Stages
Turbine Diameter 5 in.
Materials N/A

I use to finish and paint by brush. No more!This machine has more than paid for itself by the time saved and the smooth finish of the finished product.I test drove this at a Woodcraft Store seminar and was totally hooked by the amount of control in applying materials and the lack of overspray.My machine came with a bleeder gun (which some like and some don't). The upgraded unit, which is now available, comes with a bleeder/non-bleeder gun. I like the bleeder because I use it to blow off any particles of dust that happen to alight while I am working. I have done doors, cabinets, and trim with this machine. Sprayed varnish, shellac, and latex paints.You can get by with the needle kit that comes with the gun, but I would recommend you purchase the extra set with the larger needles for using thicker fluids. I would also recommend buying the 5 foot flexible hose. It makes it easier to use in confined spaces.Lastly, buy a good cleaning kit for this or any spray gun and be sure to break down the gun totally for cleaning. Do not just run cleaning fluid through the gun and think you are done. I would also recommend test driving this on scrap materials. Once you have used this once or twice it will handle like an old friend!

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